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2001 XLT D44-SAS

Ok, I'm going to start this thread since I'm hoping to be done with this by the end of September.

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Ok, those were the pretty pics...then I cracked the cover off the pumpkin-

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The thing had a ton of water inside...no gear oil came out, only water...

Now the questions for all you axle Gurus...

I can rebuild this no problem right?

Are the axle tubes sealed from the pumpkin, or did the water travel down the tubes?

I'd appreciate any opinions on this cause when the water came pouring out I got disgusted and put the cover back on...I'll have at it again tomorrow and start stripping it down.

From what can be seen- any ideas on what would have to be changed right off the bat?

Or am I looking at a total rebuild?

I want to swap out the knuckles and spindles for 5-on-5.5, they're hard to get here...any body know anyplace in Jersey or PA that I could contact and secure some F150 knuckles and spindles?

Opinions would be greatly appreciated!!

Particularly since I'm hoping to pick up the springs this weekend. :D
 



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cdsl227

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Had the wheels aligned again at a different place, still no good. It does drive ok, but it doesn't feel right. It actually felt and this may not sound right, but flatter on the road prior to changing over to hi-steer. I've been doing some research and I watched as the guy that did the alignment the last time pulled up, by the way, he said he didn't like the way it felt either (but it was dead on for all settings), it looks to me like the outside tire on a turn is rolling under too much. That I believe indicates not enough negative camber. I'm going to get some eccentric upper ball joint bushings and experiment with the camber. The toe is fine, it has to be the camber that's causing it to dance.

I moved the drag link back down to the tab I welded onto the tie-rod, since I had a spare, I cut it to size and welded in another insert. It feels a lot better (still not right, but) with the drag link on the tie-rod, but that's not where I want it. I'd rather run the drag link over the passengers knuckle.
 



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inliner

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I've been lurking around reading this site for a few months now and I gotta say this is a great site.

Great work on the SAS. I'm using the same axle for my SAS project. I'm using a Dana 44 from a 88 Wagoneer and Rancho 44044 springs with YJ shackles but it's going under a 92 Ranger.

As for the wobble that you are getting, did you ever think about putting in a sway bar or even a trac bar?
 






cdsl227

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inliner said:
I've been lurking around reading this site for a few months now and I gotta say this is a great site.

Great work on the SAS. I'm using the same axle for my SAS project. I'm using a Dana 44 from a 88 Wagoneer and Rancho 44044 springs with YJ shackles but it's going under a 92 Ranger.

As for the wobble that you are getting, did you ever think about putting in a sway bar or even a trac bar?

This is a great place to be...but these guys all got some contageous disease...I think it's called- modus toodamnmuchus!!

I thought about a trackbar for about a minute, saw that a couple of people were breaking them, realized leafs really don't need one (they self track), as for a sway bar, sway really isn't my problem...prior to putting on the hi-steer knuckles it was solid as a rock on the road.

I have noticed that the Ford Bronco knuckles showed a little negative camber.

The Custom knuckles are straight up and down- no camber at all.

What I have is actually the tire rolling under on turns...I've read that's usually a camber problem...but I'm taking any and all input from everybody.

With the Bronco knuckles I could do 80 on the highway with confidence and only have to worry about some bumpsteer, now I wouldn't think of doing 60 until this is fixed. Sometimes it feels as though it's gonna rip the damn axle out from under me.

I'm thinking of trying to get some eccentric balljoint camber adjuster sleeves, new joints come with 0 camber sleeves.
 






cdsl227

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Dis sucz!

Alright, coming off the Brooklyn Bridge last night I heard a clacking sound...when I got out of work I hobbled back over the bridge and home knowing it was the rear.

Popped the pumpkin cover and pulled 3 teeth from the pinion out of the bottom of the pumpkin. I had the gear installed at a shop, I called them prior to pulling the cover they said it's probably just an adlustment bring it and leave it we'll get it ASAP, which means sometime next week...which is why I pulled the cover myself.

I ordered new R&P, rebuild set outter tube bearings and seals, 2nd day air and they'll be here Monday. I also ordered the Pinion Depth tool, since I believe in getting things done right the first time if possible. That'll be here Tuesday...I'm figuring I'll have it done Wednesday/Thursday. Shoulda just done it myself in the first place. :mad:

The upside is since I'll be making a makeshift garage out of tarps and running the little ReadyHeater- I'll be comfortable doing it! :confused:

Besides I gotta mount the new air reservior, weld in the blocks I threaded to lock the buggy leafs and do some painting underneath.

IF- I decided to grind the welds off the knuckles and bang'em back with a hammer to bring the pinion up in the front while keeping a decent caster- I was told Ni-Rod wouldn't be the right rods to weld the knuckles... any suggestions on that?

Thanks!
 






gemrox888

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Solid work on the lift! Looks like you could work your way to some 38's or 40's without any cutting, or even some 44's if you can tuck it right!
 






cdsl227

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Thanks, I just got the ARBs piped in with the Heavy Duty Airline kits got a 5 gallon air tank tucked up in there. So far the re-regear of the rear diff is good. I have some pics to post in the thread I started for that, but I ended up playing beat the clock with the heavy snow we got here and didn't get as detailed pics as I would have like. The damn snow was caving in the tarp I set up as a temp work area quick!

I could get larger tires up in there no problem, but they'd kill my turning radius.
 






cdsl227

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Well I broke the passenger side inner axle at the yoke on Thursday. Ordered a new chromoly shaft, shoulda been here yesterday, but...

I'll get around to replacing the inner on the drivers side when it gets warmer...or breaks, whichever comes first.

Good news is- everything I bought for the hi-steer and the ARB itself can be used in a Hi-Pinion axle if I don't cut and turn the knuckles...
 






XplorerKid

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cdsl227 said:
Well I broke the passenger side inner axle at the yoke on Thursday. Ordered a new chromoly shaft, shoulda been here yesterday, but...

I'll get around to replacing the inner on the drivers side when it gets warmer...or breaks, whichever comes first.

Good news is- everything I bought for the hi-steer and the ARB itself can be used in a Hi-Pinion axle if I don't cut and turn the knuckles...


How did you break it? Were you offroading it?
 






cdsl227

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XplorerKid said:
How did you break it? Were you offroading it?


Nope, I was leveling the snow in a parking spot. I bought longer bolts to use in the knuckle stops, I checked at full lock there was no touching of the yokes, but I gotta figure too much angle and go juice is what caused the break.

Bear in mind I never changed out the axles from the submarine when I got it...I just ran them up and down until I got all the rust off of'em. It was a stock inner.
 






joe_dejesus

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I have a question for you guys:

You started with a Waggy front D44 that was 6 lug 5.5, Then you got the
knuckles from a 78 full width bronco so you can convert your axle to 5 lug 5.5..

Question:
Did you use the waggys outer stub shafts? Or did it require you to swap that also from the bronco?


Also what is done with the front ABS sensors????


thanks!
Joe
 






cdsl227

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joe_dejesus said:
Did you use the waggys outer stub shafts? Or did it require you to swap that also from the bronco?

If you're doing what's called a "knuckle out" then you have to use all the associated parts for that particular make/model. With some caveats- most of the parts are interchangable from one manufacturer (Ford/GMC) to another.

I went with Bronco knuckles, spindles, caliper brackets, calipers and brakes and hub/rotors and outer stub shaft and associated soft parts (rubber stuff).

When I switched to Hi-Steer knuckles I used custom knuckles (Parts Mike) with Hi-Steer arms, 73-76 1/2 ton GMC spindles, chomoly (alloy) outer stub axles, 73-76 1/2 ton GMC backing plates (caliper bracket combo) and kept the Bronco hub/rotors and inner/outer bearings.

joe_dejesus said:
Also what is done with the front ABS sensors????

What's ABS??? I just located the furthest, safe spot to disconnect at a clip/plug and dumped (disconnected) the front ABS, the light bulb'll burn out sooner or later.


A lot of parts on the D44's are interchangable. I could get a hi-pinion Dana 44 and use my locker, knuckle-outs and all if I wanted to switch to hi-pinion. I'd have to get the gears for the hi-pinion and put them on my carrier (locker).
 






joe_dejesus

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Assuming I also got hi steer route:

Do you think one can save some $$$ Instead of buying the knuckle outs from the bronco, (that you wound up swapping out)?

I think you only managed to keep the hubs/rotor and bearings from the Bronco?

Another option I was even thinking of somehow converting the rear axles to 6 5.5 since I need wheels anyways..

Thanks!
 






JoshC

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cdsl227 said:
...the light bulb'll burn out sooner or later...

That's what i'm hoping, two years and still burning! lol
 






cdsl227

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joe_dejesus said:
Assuming I also got hi steer route:

Do you think one can save some $$$ Instead of buying the knuckle outs from the bronco, (that you wound up swapping out)?

I think you only managed to keep the hubs/rotor and bearings from the Bronco?

Definitely, when you plan this you can save a lot by planning it correctly and avoid having to revisit things you should have just waited on or spent the coupla extra dollars for in the first place.

joe_dejesus said:
Another option I was even thinking of somehow converting the rear axles to 6 5.5 since I need wheels anyways..

The only way I know of to get that done it to have the axle made. There are no 5 to 6 lug adapters that I could find. Custom axles limit your options when things break and add to down-time, try to keep that in mind.

As it stands, I'm revisiting things that I may not have to if I had spent more time thinking about it.

My buggy leafs, although they do hold up well, aren't a good combination given the height and weight of the Explorer. I'm going to temporarily tack weld them to be fixed because I'm getting a little bit of movement, actually twisting of the eye end of the leaf that I don't like. I could fabricate a lock-down set up, but I think the weight of the front of the X would rip the axle out from under the truck in any rough off-road situation where I needed a lot of torque to get over something.

Think it through and triple check everything you plan before spending a dime. People here, especially people that've done the SAS, will be more than happy to offer an opinion on any given setup. That should save you some grief.
 






cdsl227

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JoshC said:
That's what i'm hoping, two years and still burning! lol

Geez!! Two years!! I'ma have to get in there and take it out. :D

Sounds like I'll be old and way more grey than I am now before it burns out. :p
 






cdsl227

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Ok, I've come to the determination that buggy leafs are definitely not the way to go with an Explorer. The truck is way too heavy and when you go high the combo doesn't make for good results. I could have fabbed up a means of bolting them in a locked position for the street, but it would have ended up being overkill, so I'll modify the front to fixed.

Off-road I think the X would have ripped the axle clean out given the right circumstance.

On a lighter truck the buggy leafs would have been great, even on the X they did fine for about 2000 miles with no problems other than- the eye end twists too much while driving in the street because of the weight of the X.

I tack welded in three places to lock the buggy leafs permanently so there would be no movement. Outer end of the eye and one weld on each side just to the inside of the eye so they'd be solid for now.

End result- totally different feel driving. It actually feels ROCK solid. I'll have to get the wheels aligned again because I realigned them with a tape measure after moving the drag link under the pitman arm (I opened up the toe when I moved it under...stability thing...).

I don't get the dive from the passenger side while hitting a series of bumps like I did when the buggy leafs weren't locked. The thing that I don't quit understand is that the drivers side responded well to a series of bad bumps whereas the passengers side felt REAL bad.

I'm going to cut the buggy leafs out when the weather flips to warm and weld in some "fixed" mounts...Parts Mike has some nice heavy duty mounts I'm going to pick up when I pull the drivers side inner axle to measure for a chomoly inner on that side.

Once I change that one out I'll have chomoly inners and outers. I figured upgrade the axles because I'm going to cut the knuckles and spin the pinion up to straighten the front drive shaft then weld them back up with about 6-7 degress of caster angle.

I'm very happy with the way it feels now.
 






NOTAJP

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cdsl227 said:
There are no 5 to 6 lug adapters that I could find. Custom axles limit your options when things break and add to down-time, try to keep that in mind.

Contact Derrick C. We found some really good 5x4.5 to 6x5.5 lug adapters for his swap. I don't have the link here, sorry.
 






XplorerKid

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cdsl227 said:
I'm going to cut the knuckles and spin the pinion up to straighten the front drive shaft then weld them back up with about 6-7 degress of caster angle.

I'm very happy with the way it feels now.


when you do this take some pics.... Got a website your going off of for this? I know it is something easy to do, but im afrade of doing it and have one not equal with the other, guess i could always build a jig to do it on.... well let me know your results when you do it, cause i need to adjust my Pinion angle BADDDDDDDDDddd
 






joe_dejesus

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Speaking of caster and pinion angles.

Anyone have a link of a good way to measure/set caster when welding the leaf perches to axles?


thanks
 



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cdsl227

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I have links on 3 different computers...I'll try and post a looooooonnnngggg list of links for everything I read before starting the SAS.

Best place to start is by reading all the SAS threads here first.

I'll post the links tonight. You're in for a long read...
 






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